On May 27, 2016, the McClean Lake mill operated by AREVA obtained the authorization to increase its production of uranium (U3O8) from 13 to 24 million pounds per year by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
Located in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, the McClean Lake mill is the only facility in the world designed to process high-grade uranium ore without dilution. Since 2013, the McClean Lake mill has been through an upgrade and expansion program to improve, modernize and increase the capacity of various circuits while ensuring employee safety and environmental protection.
This regulatory approval by the CNSC will lead to a progressive ramp-up of the mill in line with the Cigar Lake mine’s ramp-up to 18 million pounds annually. The tandem Cigar Lake mine and McClean Lake mill will therefore become the second-largest uranium production centre in the world.
Olivier Wantz, Senior Executive Vice President Mining-Front End Business Group, stated that “The McClean Lake mill is the most technologically advanced mill in the world for the processing of high-grade uranium ore. The safety of workers and environmental protection are at the center of the mill expansion project".
The McClean Lake mill is owned by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (70%), Denison Mines Corp. (22.5%) and OURD Canada Co. Ltd. (7.5%), and is operated by AREVA. The Cigar Lake mine is owned by Cameco Corp. (50.025%, operator), AREVA (37.1%), Idemitsu Canada Resources Ltd. (7.875%) and TEPCO Resources Inc. (5.0%), and is operated by Cameco.